Dude, don't dismiss this man as some guy just spouting ideas, this is a well respected historian.
Respected by who, and for what reason? Respected for an Biblical explanation of the meaning of Matthew 24 and the abominations that makes desolate. Respected to detail the fleeing from Judaea to the mountains, or the fall of the Holy Temple? How about its rebuilding or restoration? No, not him, not ever.
First of all 70 A.D. doesn't qualify as an abomination that made anything desolate, much less the Holy Temple of God--which "that" Temple in Jerusalem at the time was not!
That Temple Christ spoke of was left desolate in 33 A.D., along with the Holy City Jerusalem. It was left desolate by the abominations that, to this day, its people still don't recognize. Not abominations as Josephus and assorted Premils think they might refer to, but as defined and spoken of throughout God's word. The abominations of "His People."Ezekiel 43:7-8
- "And he said unto me, Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet, where I will dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever, and my holy name, shall the house of Israel no more defile, neither they, nor their kings, by their whoredom, nor by the carcases of their kings in their high places.
- In their setting of their threshold by my thresholds, and their post by my posts, and the wall between me and them, they have even defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed: wherefore I have consumed them in mine anger."
Flavius Josephus doesn't know anymore about "this" abomination that makes Desolate prophesied against the people of Israel, as the majority of the people of Israel themselves did. Nor do many professing Christians today understand the "real" abominations that they themselves have wrought that will make their house desolate as well. They all are all too busy looking at the temporal things like physical armies, cities, materials of buildings, literal stones and mountains, geopolitical wars, golden thrones, and the power of the rulers of this world. In doing so, like Israel before them they completely miss the point, just as you do. The Biblical fact
is, the Romans didn't make the Temple Desolate by any act they did in it, it was the people of Israel by the acts they did in it.
Contrary to Josephus, the abominations were not by the Romans, but by the Israelites themselves, and the desolations were not of physical city having all its stones falling or being thrown down (Lu 19:41-4), but of a spiritual fall of a city, a spiritual kingdom removed, and a spiritual Holy Temple whose stones were all thrown down. As we see there is not really much difference between the eschatology of Flavius Josephus, the Premillennialists and the Judaizers. They all have their collective heads in earthly Jerusalem seeking fulfillment there, rather than a archetypal Jerusalem that represents the city from above. selah.
According to Josephus, the fundamental cause of the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple was not the political or social feature of 1st century Judaea, (even though he contradictorily describes these as various factors in the outbreak of the war).
According to Josephus a lot of things are and were, that aren't and weren't. Your own word (contradictorily) say much. Contradiction does not make for a sound, systemartic, analytical, Biblical, Sola-Scriptura interpretation of God's word, by
God's word. Interpretation by
the words of Josephus God would never advise. It's a known "fact" that many of Josephu's writings are biased and some just plain not true. Which says it all as far as using him as an authority on Hebrew (God authored) prophecy fuldilled and Christian doctrine or understanding. Wisdom manifests itself in accepting the Bible alone as the authoritative revelator of prophesy. Not the "well respected" writings of the unbelievers who write their views of history.Proverbs 1:5-8
- "A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels:
- To understand a proverb, and the interpretation; the words of the wise, and their dark sayings.
- The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
- My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:"
God says a man of understanding will attain unto wise counsels to understand a proverb and the interpretation. ...that would not
be Josephus nor those who depend upon his writings for validation, but the inerrant authoritative word of God. When God tells you what abominations are in His Holy Temple, it's inerrant so we should listen. When God defines desolation there because of abominations, it's inerrant, so we should listen and compare. So while according to Josephus, the fundamental cause of the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple was God through the abominations of Romans acting out in it and tearing it down, God says it is "His People" who practiced the abominations in His house, and it is "His People" that will fall down with not one left as a stone in that building. It is Christ who is the New building, the corner stone of their Temple that was rejected is become head of the corner anyway, and the restoration of stones from every nation. The Holy Temple is reestablished in the nations, as the judgment of His people is that the Kingdom has been taken from them and given to another. God's words, not mine. Not the words of Josephus, Calvin or John Walvoord, but God's inerrant word of truth and interpretation.
As righteous Joseph said, "Do not interpretations belong to God?" Indeed they do. Flavius Josephus notwithstanding.
The great historian Flavius Josephus (his opinions accepted by Reformed authors as well)
...to their own ignominy, discredit and shame.Genesis 40:8a
- "And they said unto him, We have dreamed a dream, and there is no interpreter of it. And Joseph said unto them, Do not interpretations belong to God?"
- "And Joseph answered Pharaoh, saying, It is not in me: God shall give Pharaoh an answer of peace."
Just as Joseph understood that it was not in man to know the interpretation of God's vision, so it should be in theologians to understand man cannot interpret for God, and certainly not a man lie Josephus. God must always give us the answers and He does so though His word, by our comparing Scripture with Scripture, not with historical, current or geopolitical events. Joseph knew the answer was not in him, it's just too bad Christians today don't comprehend that truth means interpretations of God's word is by comparing His word, with His word. There is no way that righteous Joseph could of himself interpret the prophesy of God. It had to be by divine call of "He who authored it,"
which was God Himself. So many theologians today don't yet understand this example and continue to privately interpret almost every passage of eschatology by historians or even any way they choose, so long as it "appears" right in their own eyes. Just because it is a common practice, doesn't make it justified. I'll say it again, Flavius Josephus is not a prophet, nor a witness or mouthpiece for God,
no matter how many of his opinions are accepted by Jewish scolars, Dispensatiobnalists, Roman Catholics or Reformed authors.
The historian said plainly that God had decreed that his temple be destroyed as a punishment for his people,
God's will was that it be destroyed because it was destroyed, but God punishes His people "by punishing HIS PEOPLE,"
not by throwing down a pile of stones. It is they, "His People," who were the stones of the Holy Temple that were cast down as punishment, and it was at the cross. And not one was left standing one upon another since the Kingdom was taken from them and given to another. It wasn't a literal pile of bricks in 70 A.D., which of course wasn't God's Holy Temple or Holy City then, and also had left many stones standing one upon another. The city and Temple also already had abominations standing in it since Christ died in 33 A.D., and was already desolate. These things are wisdom and truth that are spiritually discerned, and that the non-spiritual think foolishness.Psalms 118:22-23
- "The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.
- "This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes."
- "They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons.
- Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?
- Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof."
How is all this any way plausibly ambiguous? God is speaking about Israel, Him as the cornerstone of their holy Temple that was rejected, and Him as the cornerstone of of the Holy Temple, which is the church, its believers the stones built upon Christ and the Apostles. They are now the kingdom representative that was taken from Israel, they are part of the restoration, a house whose builder and maker is God, not construction workers.Ephesians 2:19-21
- "Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
- And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
- In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:
- In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit."
How is it possible NOT to see who the stones were, and who the stones are now of the Holy Temple of God. ...Blindness? Yes, a Holy Temple that fell in 33 A.D. with the rejection of its chief corner stone, and the Holy Temple was restored with the same foundation stone they rejected. Both the destruction of the Holy Temple and its rebuilding is symbolical. Is it not enough to understand that the Jews made the same mistake that the Premillennials and Dispensationalists and Josephus apologists are making. Looking to the temporal buildings as fulfillment of prophesy of the destruction of the Temple and its rebuilding? John 2:19-21
- "Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.
- Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?
- But he spake of the temple of his body."
They, like you, could only see the temporal building, when Christ was speaking about something infinitely more important. Their rejection and destruction of Him as the Temple building, and His restoration of it after three days. You see, the only true Israel, is in Christ Jesus. The only true rebuilding of the holy city is stones laid upon Christ Jesus as the Jerusalem from above. The only true building of the Holy Temple, are stones laid upon Him as their foundation. The prophesy of the City and Temple falling has nothing to do with a judgment upon a pile of literal stones over 30 years after Christ died, but the sure judgment and punishment of people in 33 A.D. where not one stone of "that building"was left standing. A New Covemnant was made with Israel, and the foundation stone rejected has still become head of the corner. Their Kingdom was taken from "the nation of Israel" and given to another as Christ prophesied. A Temple is built with stones laid upon the apostles and Christ, and it wasn't in 70 A.D. after literal stones fell "provintg" its destruction and rebuilding did not speak of that event. The "New Covenant with Israel" is established in the Israel of God, the church. It's not a future event, but a past one.Jeremiah 31:31-33
- "Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
- Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the LORD:
- But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people."
It's all one cohesive plan Fred, the fulfillment of the promise or Covenant to Israel for her restoration, her kingdom, her reign, her promised Savior. Not a future savior and Kingdom, one fulfilled in Christ.Hebrews 8:13
- "In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away."
- "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel."
We are the Restoration, the fulfilled New Covenant Israel. This is the prophesied coming and reign of Israel's Messiah and establishment of His Kingdom. But not a temporal one as many then and now expect. He never spoke of ruling in an earthly Kingdom, destroying literal Temples or rebuilding them with literal stones in a temporal home. His kingdom is everlasting as prophesied, not earthly or temporal. We are the stones of that rebuilding according to Scripture.
In conclusion, Flavius Josephus was a secular historian, not a prophet, so he couldn't explain Christian history if his life depended upon it. And those looking to him and his words to do so, do (both Reformed and otherwise) themselves, Biblical interpretation and the cause of Christ a terrible disservice.
but alaso for purification of the sins of his people. Live with it.
I do live with the truth, not with long standing fables or dreams of a world wide rule in a kingdom that is already world wide and has already come.
You say Josephus claims that the destruction of a literal Temple was in 70 A.D. and was for the purification of his people? I say in 70 A,.D. His people were already purified (in the fire), and the stones of the Old Testament Temple of prophesy had already fallen, and likewise the rebuilding of the city and Temple, with Christ as the chief corner stone, already in full force.Proverbs 20:9
- "Who can say, I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my sin?"
Only "His People" purified in the blood of Christ can say that. It was Christ, that Holy Temple, who died for the purification of the sins of his people. Not a Temple in 70 A.D. designated that role by Josephus. For your information, we (The New Covenant Israel) are the stones of the holy Temple, we are His holy People, we are His holy nation, we are His Holy City, we are His Jews, not according to the flesh, but the Spirit. Christians need to start listening to God say Scripture is fulfilled, rather than book authors and the babblings of Josephus.Acts 15:15-17
- "And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written,
- After this I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:
- That the residue of men might seek after the Lord, and all the Gentiles, upon whom my name is called, saith the Lord, who doeth all these things."
I say again, can this be in any way unclear that the prophecy of the fall and restoration of city and sanctuary spoke not of earthly buildings, but symbolic ones, and it spoke of the New Covenant church. Every word of this is clearly confirmed
by Scripture, rather than Flavius Josephus. A much more "authoritative"
and inerrant source for understanding.
"nosce te ipsum
"I acknowledged my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah. -Psalms 32:5"